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Author Topic: Here we go, '76 Runabout  (Read 2268 times)

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Here we go, '76 Runabout
« on: October 16, 2011, 09:09:28 PM »
Hey, my first post on this board. Been browsing around a lot, and happy to have found a community base for these cars.

I just picked up a craigslist find, 1976 Runabout with 2.3l, auto, 76k miles on it. So far I've put gas in it and cleaned the windows, it's running well. Sat outside in the northwest for two years, so that the vinyl is totally shot, with plenty of rust on the roof and some small holes in the passenger windshield column and driver's side front quarter panel. The interior is in excellent condition, I'll admit it's what sold me on the car. $750 + fees, I think I did alright here.

A few questions so far (what an introduction!)

1) I'm planning on fixing the rust holes as best I can, any tips for making an okay paint match? I'm not going for show quality, just good enough that my friends won't make even more fun of me.

2) Power steering fluid is flying all over the place. How would you go about tracking down the right replacement hoses? I can upload pictures if that helps.

3) I'm used to working on an old Kawasaki bike, where all the specs and part numbers are available online. Days of googling has resulted in no similar research for these cars. Would the original manual cover this? Saw a few listed on Amazon.

Thanks much, and glad to be here.


Offline dga57

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Re: Here we go, '76 Runabout
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2011, 01:04:08 AM »
Hi Jordash!
Welcome!  I'd say you did just fine for $750... it looks like a nice find. 
There are a lot of people here with more mechanical knowledge than I have, so I'll leave the power steering hose question to them.  As for the paint, any good automotive paint store should be able to computer match the color.  If you have a compressor and spray gun, great... if not, they can even put it in a rattle can for you! 
If you're planning to work on the car yourself, probably the best investment you could make would be an original shop manual.  They can usually be found on eBay without too much trouble.  In the meantime, there are people here who have them and are usually willing to scan a few pages or look up information for you, if you're in a bind. 
Dwayne :)
Pinto Car Club of America - Serving the Ford Pinto enthusiast since 1999.


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Re: Here we go, '76 Runabout
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2011, 03:49:45 PM »
Thanks for the welcome Dwayne, happy to be here.
I'll definitely be looking into that rattle can tip, sounds like just the ticket for my needs at the moment.

As to the shop manual, forgive my ignorance but are we talking the 5 vol set of these:

Or just a Clymer or Haynes?  :o


Offline phils toys

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Re: Here we go, '76 Runabout
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2011, 04:07:50 PM »
first off welcome
next the 5 set is a great start as well as haynes, chilton or clymer they are all very helpfull
the power stearing parts can be purchased at local auto parts store  i just did the  high pressure  hose and  rebuilt the pump last winter. if it is the rack leaking  the parts can be found ( i am pretty sure) dont be afraid to ask many questions
2006, 07,08 ,10 Carlisle 3rd stock pinto 4 years same place
2007 PCCA East Regional Best Wagon
2008 CAHS Prom Coolest Ride
2011,2014 pinto stampede

Offline dave1987

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Re: Here we go, '76 Runabout
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2011, 07:21:32 PM »

You are in Seattle, eh? My Dad lives outside of Portland Oregon and frequently travels to Seattle to spend time with his sisters and mother!

Your car is great for $750! I paid $350 for my 73 station wagon, not running and rough interior. I've spent over $1700 on it already and it still has it's fair share of problems (needs a head swap, new piston rings and gaskets/seals all over), will be dumping another $200 into it to get it going strong again and then it's body work.

Your car is a nice one, that's for sure! And are those the aluminum slotted wheels with caps I see on it?! I love that color of metallic green and with a new white or black vinyl top it will look amazing again! 76 is a sought after year as well, I want one myself, I just love the front end and fancy/mean appearance they can have.

I have a Chilton's manual that covers the Pinto and Bobcat from 1971 to 1979, Sedan Runabout and Station Wagon models.

I do all of my 78 Sedan's maintenance with my Haynes manual which covers 1975 to 1980 Pintos and Bobcats, not sure about body styles but the sedans and runabouts for sure. I find it to be the most informal and detailed when it comes to DIY shop manuals off the shelf. If you are mechanically inclined (and it sounds like you have some experience), it will be quite easy for you to understand and follow.

Then I have a Clymers 1971 to 1980 manual, again not sure if it covers station wagon models, but it covers both the Pinto and the Bobcat as well. I haven't had the chance to use it when working on the cars yet, but it is a nice reference against the Haynes and the Chiltons.

Those would be the easiest manuals to obtain, and for an initial manual, I recommend the Haynes. Can be found on eBay for under $10.00.

Last but not least, the power steering hoses! Check NAPA Auto Parts or O'Reilly Auto Parts (It might be Pepboys or Kragen in your state), but I know they can obtain them. They are not exactly cheap, but they will last awhile!

If all else fails, check as they can get almost anything you will need at some decent prices.

Great sources for parts that I use:

O'Reilly Auto Parts

Autozone (for odd ball parts none others can get) (if the price is right)

NAPA Auto Parts (for clutch parts and sets)

TranStar Industries (local store for anything transmission)

Idaho Transmission Warehouse (Torque converters)

Any reputable radiator shop (for repairs and cleaning)

Aamco Transmissions (for boiling out parts at a reasonable price)

1A Auto online (for dash caps and molded carpeting)

Steele Rubber (windshield gaskets)

www.sscenterpr (gas tank seals and some small interior parts)

Let me know if I can help with anything, I'm only a state away! I have a storage unit full of 74 to 79 part and a lot of interior stuff, lemme know if you need anything!
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline D.R.Ball

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Re: Here we go, '76 Runabout
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2011, 11:53:34 PM »
For the paint when it's running take it to a good auto paint store and have the store mix up something close.  At this point paying $200 a gal is not an option. After that clear coat and buff and you should be done.....
It looks like you got good car....Buy the Ford books on eBay they are for all Fords for that model year, as for the Haynes or Chilton's use the Ford books and you will not be sorry.
The Ford books are written for Ford by Ford and not done by some one who then rewrites it into British English.....Ha ynes for example.....